5 Awesome Platformers You May Not Have Played

The platforming genre is alive and well.

Whenever we think of platformers the same red overall-wearing, moustachioed Italian plumber springs to mind. But platforming has progressed far beyond the Marios and Sonics of yesteryear, slowly becoming one of the most broadly enjoyed gaming types out there.

Here are five awesome platformers which you may not have played.

GRIS – Aesthetic Explosion

Developed by Nomada Studio and published by indie heavyweights Devolver Digital, GRIS is a platform adventure game with a big heart and an overwhelming aesthetic.

Everything from its tender score to its awe-inspiring hand-drawn designs will lodge themselves deep into your memory if you get your hands on the game.

You play as a girl named Gris who wakes up in an abstract world of crumbling ruins devoid of colour. As you navigate the world, you are tasked with solving light platforming puzzles to restore colour to the world.

Having sold over 1 million copies, GRIS is an indie hit—but still one that many are yet to experience. 

Katana Zero – Twitch-heavy Combat

Turning Hotline Miami 90 degrees, Katana Zero follows Subject Zero—a deadly katana-wielding assassin with amnesia who can both slow down time and predict the future.

Published by Devolver Digital—who also published the legendary Hotline Miami—Katana Zero is somewhat a spiritual successor to Hotline Miami’s challenging, fast-paced combat. Although, it’s worth mentioning, that the game was created by an entirely different team almost solely composed of Justin Stander.

Blending hack-and-slash with side-scrolling and platforming, Katana Zero is a satisfying take on a genre which often runs at a much slower pace.

A Short Hike – Wholesome Exploration

While it may not immediately look like a platformer, indie darling A Short Hike is almost entirely based on its world traversal (or platforming) mechanics.

You play as Claire, a young bird tasked simply to reach the top of Hawk Peak in order to get phone signal to contact your mother. While this sets up the narrative for a (very) short hike, the game’s open world design and colourful cast of characterswill quickly draw you into a characterful patchwork of miniature narratives. Not to mention that as you progress through the game you bolster your ability to fly, seeing you grow from gliding short distances to flying freely around the island.

A Short Hike is one of those rare indie gems which will have you hooked thanks to both its narrative content and its mechanics.

Mirror’s Edge – True Parkour 

Released back in 2009, Mirror’s Edge is a rare example of a game not showing its age. Thanks to its streamlined mechanics and simplified graphics it still looks and plays great, despite being over a decade old.

Inspired by the high-octane parkour thrills of action cinema, Mirror’s Edge places you in the shoes of Faith—a freedom-fighting free runner who lives in an oppressive near-future regime which controls its citizens through media brainwashing.

While Mirror’s Edge’s story may be somewhat run of the mill for a dystopian title, it’s memorable gameplay is anything but. Placing you in a first-person perspective, the game’s thrills are turned up to eleven—seeing you run, jump and slide through the impressively rendered cityscape as you dodge and confront the police at every turn.

Due to its age, many gamers may not have given Mirror’s Edge a go, but we certainly recommend it. And if you played It way back on release—it’s probably about time to relive those thrills.

Antichamber – Head-scratching Puzzler

Antichamber is one of those games you simply can’t get out of your head. Both when you’re playing it and way after the credits have rolled.

This is thanks to a unique mix of strong visuals, innovative gameplay and downright genius puzzles.

The crux of Antichamber is its inclusion of impossible objects and spaces—bending the possibilities of normal three-dimensional space in a way that can only be felt through the medium of games. Alongside each puzzle, the game also provides short adages which leave plenty of food for thoughtand add a philosophical flair to each and every puzzle.

The platforming genre is alive and well, despite many disregarding it as one of gaming’s most basic formats. Thanks to talented and innovative developers, the genre continues to grow and morph to include a variety of exciting mechanics and gameplay styles.

Fortunately, many of the best platformer games out there, including those on this list, can now be found at discount prices!